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Punisher War Journal #41 original cover art by John Romita Jr. - RESTORED

Artist: Robert Dennis (Restorer)

3 Comments  -   305 Views  -   0 Like


Punisher War Journal #41 original cover art by John Romita Jr. - RESTORED Comic Art
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Artwork Details

Title: Punisher War Journal #41 original cover art by John Romita Jr. - RESTORED
Artist: Robert Dennis (Restorer)
Media Type: Pen and Ink
Art Type: Cover
For Sale Status: NFS
Views: 305
Likes on CAF:
0
Comments: 3
Added to Site: 2/5/2018
Comic Art Archive:

Description

Reinforced faded ink lines; reproduced missing stats and placed on clear overlay.

The Need for Salvaging Pieces of Art with Fading Ink Lines

It is becoming increasingly apparent that a large percentage of the pieces of original comic art rendered with “flair” type ink are fading to a point at which the overall aesthetics of the art has been greatly diminished. The artists most affected by this include Jim Starlin, Gil Kane, and Pat Broderick, as well as most of Scott Adams’ early Dilbert strips.
The question must be asked – is the “integrity” of the artist’s original ink more important than the image itself? Are we to allow the image to just fade into oblivion, or do we take the steps required to bring the art back to its original glory?
I don’t think anyone would argue that the slashes to Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” shouldn’t have been re-painted once the canvas had been patched. Of course not, because the evidence of those breaks in the pigments would have been a great distraction to the enjoyment of the image as a whole.
Why would a piece of comic art be considered any differently? I think the problem stems from the celebrity status afforded the comic artists, which, largely, supersedes the art they produce. For most art produced by fine artists, the image itself ultimately transcends the media used, and so, when damaged, restoring the image to its original state is paramount. Where comic art is concerned, it is the “artist’s hand” that commands the highest regard – that is why there is such a strong debate about who did what whenever that question comes up regarding a piece produced by multiple artists, or with regard to “correctly” attributing the many, many pieces of unaccredited art produced during the first few decades of the comic book industry, not to mention the “ghost artists” commonly used for numerous newspaper comic strips.
That perspective must change. Otherwise, in a few more decades, those pertinent pieces of art will, literally, disappear.
So, how best to address this need for reinforcing those fading ink lines? I would offer that the artists still around to do the work wouldn’t want to spend a large portion of their time re-inking old pieces of their art. And, even if they did, they wouldn’t have the inclination to render the art with the exactness required – artists tend to constantly evolve with regard to how they produce their art, and cannot let perceived past mistakes or inadequacies stand “uncorrected” – so the re-inked art likely would not look the same as it did when originally rendered for the comic book, so fondly remembered by so many. Jim Starlin is a good example of an artist whose iconic early work was full of anatomical imperfections; Bernie Wrightson’s later art changed to a point in which it’s almost incomparable to his early work; in my opinion, the raw magic of Frank Frazetta’s “Sea Witch” suffered when he decided to later “improve” it.
Some may consider a different “professional” inker to be a possible solution, but I would argue that their similar perspective regarding perceived mistakes in the original art lines, as well as their own particular identity strongly apparent in those ink lines would, again, produce an image that, while similar, still lacks the exactness required to bring the art back to its original state.
The answer, I believe, is a restoration artist whose goal is to render/darken back in those lines in as exacting a way as possible – being sensitive to the way the lines fluctuate in thickness; the slight zigs and zags in the lines; leaving the unintended breaks in the lines as rendered by the original artist. A time consuming process to be sure, but one that would yield every bit as dramatically enhanced results as those obtained by cleaning glue stains or replacing missing stats.
Thoughts on this topic?

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About the Owner

Robert Dennis
Premium Gallery Owner
Joined: December 2010
Ebay Id: agraphicstateofmind2015
Website: http://www.agraphicstateofmind.com/comic_art_restoration_services.html
Country: UNITED STATES
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Charles Costas 
Member Since 2004

Posted on 2/5/2018

Personally, not a fan of this type of work. It is worse when the person altering the art doesn't notate it on the back of the art (not saying you didn't). In this case, it is more than just restoration, especially by adding the Punisher skull in the UPC box - something that would never appear on the original art. That's just dressing up a piece of art to make it look more like the final commercial product. Just my opinion, but I think you took it a little too far.

Robert Dennis 
Member Since 2010

Posted on 2/5/2018

Charles Costas wrote:

Personally, not a fan of this type of work. It is worse when the person altering the art doesn't notate it on the back of the art (not saying you didn't). In this case, it is more than just restoration, especially by adding the Punisher skull in the UPC box - something that would never appear on the original art. That's just dressing up a piece of art to make it look more like the final commercial product. Just my opinion, but I think you took it a little too far.

The UPC icon is a replacement stat. The before/after image is the "notation".

Matt  Dicke 
Member Since 2006

Posted on 2/12/2018

Peronsally it is your art now and If you enjoy it restored then that is what is most imporant. Cause if it can fade into obblivion then no one can enjoy it. Yes it is not the original aritst but resotration exists for that reason. ANd that is coming from an artist and why I try to only used archival tools. I think they did a great job- it looks fantastic. I have been debating about doing this to a few of the lines on one piece in my collection. Luckily they are mostly straight lines that were lost on the original that can be easily retouched.

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